E Turbines: Combining Wind Energy with the Open Road
It sometimes seems as if wind energy innovation is happening on analmost daily basis. However, where in some fields innovations may takeon drastically different forms, there are only so many ways to changethe way a turbine works. Still, many wind energy based companies aretrying to find the best way to maximize wind’s potential. A concept that has garnered some attention over the last couple of years is one thatseeks to blend the concept of wind energy with the highwayinfrastructure.
Called the E Turbines, the idea is that a series of small circularturbines would be placed along the median of a highway that would usethe wind created by passing cars to generate electricity from the windenergy. The electricity generated could then be used to power highwayand street lights, information and warning signs, or even emergencyphones set up along the road. The idea was created by an industrialdesigner named Pedro Gomes, who has submitted the idea to several design contests over the years.
According to Pedro, the E Turbines can generate electricity both fromthe movement of passing vehicles but also from outside wind sourcesmeaning that it can utilize any wind energy source. This makes the ETurbines ideal for remote areas that would otherwise require theimplementation of a brand new power structure. As new highways are built throughout the world, the E-Turbine could be implemented as the primary means of powering the necessary systems that go along with theextension of a highway. The designer also believes that theimplementation of the E Turbines along the median would create a visible barrier between the opposite lanes of the highway which would, in turn, create a safer environment while driving along the endless stretches of road.
The primary way the E Turbines store the power gathered from wind energy is a series of battery banks that are installed within each turbinesystem. The battery banks are comprised of multiple smaller batteriesthat can be individually removed in the event of a battery failuremaking maintenance easier. Once the power is stored within the batterybank, it is sent along to a main battery that then distributes the power to the systems currently requiring electricity.
Currently, the E Turbine remains a concept without any immediate plansto begin implementing them despite getting attention by becoming afinalist in several competitions. However, the concept itself is stillinteresting and could have potential for a country looking to greatlyexpand their highway systems while catering to a renewable energymindset.
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